The Bernier Battle: The Divide Within the Right
It was only a few months ago that we covered the growing divide in the Conservative Party between Andrew Sheer and Maxime Bernier here at The Red Ensign. In Progressive Conservatives Punch Right, it was noted how there was a growing divide between more national traditionalists like Bernier and, going back earlier, Jack MacLaren. To recap from the last article:
“It’s ironic because, on one hand, the Progressive Conservatives have shown disregard for the Anglophone heritage in Ontario when they expelled MacLaren, on the other hand they are showing disregard for the Francophone heritage of Quebec when they expel people like Bernier. And there is something to be said for both positions. There is something to be said for politicians like MacLaren when they implicitly acknowledge that Canada has a predominantly Anglophone heritage that needs to be respected, just as there is something to be said for politicians like Bernier when they acknowledge that Quebec has its own unique, regional autonomy that needs to be respected. What Canada ultimately needs is a kind of Federalism that shows respect for both of these traditions.”
This divide between more national traditionalists like Bernier and more progressive conservatives like Sheer has only grown, as Bernier has officially parted ways with the Conservative Party of Canada, only to start a new party of his own. According to a poll done by Abacus Data, Bernier has already attracted 13% of the polled population:
Of that 13%, the data can be broken down accordingly:
What makes this split remarkable relates to some of the things Bernier has been saying in regards to political correctness, multiculturalism, and mass immigration.
Bernier comes at politics from three main angles.
1) The first of these angles is from a position of representing the regional autonomy of Quebec, which is where a lot of his rhetoric against mass-immigration and multiculturalism comes from.
2) The second of these angles is on the bandwagon of anti-political correctness, which was one of many factors that got Trump elected (despite being a low-hanging fruit often mentioned by outlets like Rebel Media and mainstream YouTubers).
3) The third of these angles relates to a more libertarian economic policy in his opposition to supply management, which has led some to believe the Bernier might form an alliance with Tim Moen of the Libertarian Party of Canada.
One concern that many people have with Bernier’s decision is that it will divide the Conservative Party for the upcoming federal election. There is some truth to this, but there are two things worth noting:
- The first thing to note is that the Left is already divided between the Liberals and NDP, and the NDP are playing the same labour-left populist card as Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn. This means that the Right will need a more viable populist option in order to counter the NDP, and the Conservative Party is more content playing the game of globalist capitalism.
- The second thing to note is that the Conservative Party doesn’t actually care about heritage or tradition more than it does conserving its progressive, Neoliberal economic agenda. This means that the Conservative Party has a tendency to sell out in regards to everything but lowering taxes and furthering free trade. It is ironic that Bernier should be so “woke” on multiculturalism and mass immigration yet so “basic” when it comes to his rejection of economic nationalism.
On a federal level, the right isn’t just divided between the Conservatives and Bernier’s new party either. The Canadian Nationalist Party led by Travis Patron and the National Citizens Alliance led by Stephen Garvey are both runners up for the next major players on the right. Furthermore, in the upcoming mayoral elections in Toronto, candidates like Faith Goldy represent an alternative to the Conservative Party, with candidates like Chris Brosky running with the endorsement of Don Andrews’ Nationalist Party of Canada and candidates like James Sears running on behalf of his unregistered New Constitution Party of Canada. Even the infamous, white nationalist Paul Fromm is running in the mayoral candidate in Hamilton.
What this should tell many of you is that there is a growing alternative movement on the right in Canada, but what it should also tell you is that there is much division within this movement. The right is walking a tightrope between more radical elements and more centrist elements or more implicit elements and more explicit elements. Within this dynamic, the right must learn how to balance itself. This balancing act must have four parts.
- The first part relies on having people with tarnished reputations or who lack in presentability operate behind the front lines by unifying together and rallying what support they can. This would mean people like James Sears, Chris Brosky, Don Andrews, and Paul Fromm would be better off coming together and would be better off supporting more presentable candidates with better optics. While the notion of “optics-cucking” has its negative connotations, anyone with any sane political sensibilities will understand that there is a place for both of these things in any viable political movement. This is one factor that allowed for the success of Trump, namely, his ability to “dogwhistle” and implicitly signal to more explicit ideas. In order to further open the Overton Window, we must have people who hold it open and people who open it further, and these two must coordinate in such a way that the former opens up the masses and the latter moves in on them.
- The second part relies on having organizations like the Canadian Nationalist Party and National Citizens Alliance come together. The Canadian Nationalist Party, for one, has a better name at face value, being more explicitly “Nationalist” in an age that is increasingly coming to terms with that label. The Canadian Nationalist Party has also been more consistent with its name, whereas the “National Citizens Alliance” used to be called the “National Advancement Party of Canada”. The Canadian Nationalist Party also has stronger central policies when it comes to nationalism, such as its policies on banking, protectionism, immigration, and militarism. With this being said, the NCA has policies that are more detailed, and this is definitely something that the Canadian Nationalist Party is improving on.
- The third part relies on having more-mainstream figures (like Faith Goldy, Maxime Bernier, and even Doug Ford) become representatives for a nationalist alliance in Canada, which could even involve having them as potential representatives for a formal nationalist coalition. The main issue with this, as it stands, is that both Bernier and Goldy oppose the protectionist policy in Canada, instead of trying to be more like Trump. Instead of opposing Trudeau’s reciprocal tariffs, they need to be so protectionist and so strong on trade that it makes Trudeau look like the baby he is. We have cartels and tariffs so that we can build up economies of scale while taking advantage of the natural resources and geography of the given provinces that make our nation up. Just like Trump learned from the protectionism of Alexander Hamilton, so too do we need Conservatives who learn from the protectionism of John A. MacDonald, what with his National Policy.
- The fourth part relies on refining a platform down to the bare essentials while being prepared to make concessions to left-wing populism in order to provide a nonpartisan or bipartisan, populist third position. This means that the right needs to reconsider its outlook on things like social welfare, healthcare, pensions, minimum wages, and even things like legalizing cannabis or abortion. What the right needs to stand firm on is the Christian and European heritage of our nation, i.e. monogamous heterosexuality and monocultural homogeneity. Instead of pushing for lower taxes or privatization, the right should be pushing for decreasing immigration, delegitimizing the current sexual agenda, and subsidizing and protecting our nation’s industries.
At this point, it looks as if Sheer is campaigning on strong trade while Bernier is campaigning on strong borders. Both of them could be completely destroyed by someone who campaigned on strong borders and strong trade. While this has the potential to further divide the Conservatives, it could also unify both positions within the Conservative movement. It is worth noting that this third position might not even come from within the Conservative Party or Bernier’s new Party. We must not forget that only a few decades ago, the Social Credit Party provided a viable Nationalist and Traditionalist mainstream alternative, having retained a majority from 1935 to 1971 in Alberta and from 1952 to 1991 in B.C.
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